HBCU Buzz

HBCU True Life: I Don’t Know What I’m Doing After College And That’s Okay

Well, it’s that time of the year again. It’s the end of another break, and the Spring semester is drawing nigh. Usually, I’m very excited for the start of a new semester. During this time, I normally wake up every morning counting down the days left of the break. I do this because I’m pumped that I’m about to embark on another epic semester. This winter break has been entirely different.

Now that I’ve reached my senior year, the excitement has been replaced with anxiety. Every conversation I have with everyone from fellow interns to friends, to my family are all the same. Everyone asks me: What are your plans after Morehouse? What are your long term goals? Where’s your girlfriend? Where do you want to live post-college?

As I get asked these questions, I don’t know what the answers are or should be. To be quite honest, I have no clue what the future holds. I think because I have made it this far while trying to appear to “have it all together” that people expect me to have all the answers but quite frankly, I don’t. I’ve discovered that no matter how much success one experiences, there will always be questions that they do not have the answer to. After coming to the realization that I should probably do some thinking about my future, recently I’ve felt overwhelmed

I keep thinking maybe I’m losing my touch, or that I’m lacking in some capacity. Sometimes I compare myself to others who know exactly what they want to do and how they’ll get there. The stress of these thoughts really bugs me.

When thinking over my past experiences, triumphs and successes none of it were planned. When I wanted to go to Morehouse, that decision came to me my last semester of high school. When I decided I wanted to write a book, that whole idea came to me one day in the living room then I went and did it. I did not plan to do any of those things months and years in advance.

All of my biggest and most proud moments came to me in the spur of the moment. The question I’ve wrestled with when reflecting on these experiences is; Well, how did I succeed with no plan?

I know for sure that I was able to have these successful moments because of three things:

  • I allow myself to be open to hearing the desires of my heart.
  • I focus on doing my best in the present moment.
  • I have faith that everything will work out.
 These three points have allowed me to keep progressing even without a plan. So yes, I have no idea what I’m doing after graduation, I don’t know when I’m getting married or where I’ll be living, but I do know that whatever I’ll be doing I’ll be okay.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t pressure myself into trying to plan the next move. I can’t get so caught up in what everyone else wants for me that I can’t hear the voice inside myself telling me what to do next. I think not having a plan has worked out for me just fine.

To all the HBCU seniors who’ve been feeling the pressure of senior year, just relax. It’s GOING to be okay. If I know anything for sure I know that sometimes having no plan IS the master plan. We all have an inner instinct or intuition that is constantly speaking to us telling us what to do. That voice may be telling you to do something challenging or go somewhere uncharted, but just do it. If you can’t hear that voice inside yourself:

  •  Get still.
  •  Get focused.
  •  AND TRY.

Your intuition will never lead you wrong.

As I say this to you, I remind myself that it’s okay to not know the next step. It’s okay to figure it out as you go. We have the power within ourselves to do great work, but we just have to be open to doing so. So if you don’t have a plan, that’s alright. I’m with you. We both will go into this last semester trying to figure it all out.  I promise we both will be okay! We deserve it!

Be Inspired!

Chris Sumlin

Chris Sumlin , is a 2017 graduate of Morehouse College. He grew up in Columbus, OH and is a HBCU Buzz Contributor. Chris is a published author, public speaker and covers all the buzzing topics happening in the Atlanta University Center. You should reach out to him at Sumlinchristopher@gmail.com